How to start an Ecommerce blog

Having a blog on your ecommerce site is not a luxury but a necessity. It helps to build links and drive your organic SEO efforts, increases your brand’s awareness and can even boost your sales. Plus it is a great way of educating your customers and establishing a relationship with them. But if you’re not sure what to include on your blog we’ve come up with ten handy hints and tips that should get you started:

  1. Make your content useful to your customers and potential customers. Work out what their pain points are and solve them in your blog. Marketing guru Jay Baer says in his book Youtility: “Make your content, whatever it is, useful to your customers, and remember being helpful, entertaining and informative are all forms of utility.”
  2. Include video content on your blog to increase engagement with your brand. It could be an educational instructional video like you’d see on eHow or a funny clip you’ve found on YouTube that’s relevant to your industry or something you’ve created on Vine. We love this one from Oreo cookies as it’s really simple.
  3. The second most engaging content to include is photos – perhaps it’s of your products in situ, of your team’s fun day out or aspirational images that people can like (in the way Starbucks often does on its Facebook page or Instagram account).
  4. Gentleman’s fashion brand, Mr Porter, has a great blog – it’s highly visual, shows customers how to wear its garments, with added options such as how to accessorize the look, change from daywear to nightwear etc as well as including great social commentary about who’s wearing what.
  5. The idea of the blog is not to talk all about your products in a direct way. It’s about working out what your customers’ needs are before they know them themselves and answering their problems. During this process you can include links to products mentioned your ecommerce site. Check out how IKEA does this on its blog.
  6. Include a social element in your blog where you collate and aggregate comments, images and social chatter about your products like the way Holiday Club Resorts does. They even include this content on their booking page - so just before a customer books a holiday they get to see all the fun people have previously had at a particular hotel/resort/holiday destination.
  7. Involve your customers – let them share their experiences, images and ideas. They often come up with some of the best content on your behalf. Finnish home & interiors online retailer Kodin1 created a ‘My life in the home’ inspiration section where it publishes its customer’s content alongside content that’s been created by its marketing team.
  8. Invite key people in your industry to guest blog for you. They will bring in new ideas, give you a fresh voice and also their own followers to your page – so will help to drive traffic to your site. Lots of baby-related  and parenting brands have teamed up with mummy bloggers to write on their blogs. Sites like Tots100 put brands in touch with bloggers.
  9. Make your blog the social melting pot. Pull in content from your Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter accounts by using pre-programmed hashtags. The Flockler technology allows you set these up so you, your team members or the public can create content that contributes to your blog. It’s a great way of generating regular and fresh content with little extra effort.
  10. The final tip is a no, no. Never include boring press releases, company statements or information that’s too internally focused. Your blog is supposed to reach out to your customers not your shareholders. This kind of content will drive your core customers away (and they won’t come back).

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